It took four big doves to finally get this stubborn Cardinal to move to another feeder. The doves aren’t aggressive, but they really want the feeder. They are convinced it’s THEIRS. I’m convinced it isn’t. It’s mine, but the doves WANT that feeder and get surprisingly desperate about guarding it, even when it’s empty.

Sitting at the edge of the feeder just munching on a few seeds

Not for long. The doves really want that feeder!

Finally, muscled out by those big fat doves, the cardinal moves to a different feeder.

The Cardinal is not exactly starving. None of our little group of birdies is starving, but the little birds get pushed around by the doves. Doves can’t push around birds of their own size because no other bird of that size is afraid of doves. They are lovers (and EATERS), not fighters.

Non-aggressive they may be, but they sure can throw their weight around.

Categories: #Birds, #gallery, #Photography, Anecdote, Cardinal

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12 replies

  1. A gorgeous little Cardinal, Marilyn, and he’s clearly a survivor. Adaptation is the key, and he knew what to do without causing a fight. Clever little person. Fantastic shots, of course, and it’s always a pleasure to see your beautiful garden visitors. 🙂


    • This has become a daily confrontation. The cardinal settles down to eat and after a while, one dove, two doves, three doves, six doves close in on him. He’s feisty, but eventually the sheer weight of the doves push him out, so he goes to a different feeder. It’s also why it’s good to have more than one feeder and have them set up so they “cater” to birds of different sizes.

      Since both doves and cardinal live here year round, this is going to get interesting in winter!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photos are incredible. Just incredible.


  3. Kicking seed in the cardinal’s face, then flying away?! What a great photo story this is, Marilyn.


    • This was about as aggressive as these birds get. Probably for them, this is pretty potent warfare. The doves are beginning to be a bit of a problem. They consume huge amounts of food, reproduce like crazy, and guard the feeders as if they own them. Thing is, they don’t own them and today, I ran out of seeds entirely so until more food arrives (tonight, I hope), they will have to cope with eating other stuff. There’s a lot of food out there in the woods now. They COULD try eating some of it. I guess ours is better tasting?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Your photo reminded me of that old ad with the big strong guy kicking sand on the skinny guy on the beach. Those doves look quite a bit bigger than the cardinal.


        • They are and normally, doves are pretty passive but they seem to have discovered that they may not be much as fighters, but they have heft and weight a LOT more than the little birds. They have taken to guarding all the feeders. They really do think they own them, except when food doesn’t show up. Then they line up on the deck and stare at me until I come out with food.

          Aggressive DOVES?

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Rome on a typical afternoon, the doves want to be heard, while the cardinals want to enforce their power, so ecclesiastical a posting Marilyn, cheers..


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